Recent blog posts

Market People | Cross Street Market: Community Impact

Center Maryland co-founder Martin Knott interviews Rev. Dr. Alvin Hathaway Of Union Baptist Church and Professor John Bullock of the Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance on the urgent need to redevelop Baltimore markets.... Continue reading
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Donald C. Fry: Time to Shake off April and Reconnect Baltimore

In the wake of the civil unrest in late April many in the Baltimore community heard plenty of talk from naysayers in the region and among national press pundits that the basic social contract in Baltimore had been weak and frayed for a long time and now is broken altogether. Those who know the city and many of the committed hard-working leaders in the business, government and other communities all too well didn’t buy this point of view. Not at all. But it was clear that some new approaches and initiatives were needed to be put in place, sooner rather than later, to help address some of the economic disadvantages that have dogged many in our city for decades. Some of these played a role, to an extent, in the frustrations which surfaced in the form of unrest in April. It is important that we put the civil unrest in the... Continue reading
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Josh Kurtz: Middle East Politics – and Sen. Cardin

Six weeks after President Obama announced a nuclear deal with Iran, Maryland’s two U.S. senators, Barbara Mikulski (D) and Ben Cardin (D), have still not said whether they support it. Cardin is frequently overshadowed by the feistier, more senior Mikulski, but in this instance his decision is worth watching more than Mikulski’s. Mikulski, after all, is a lame duck, and her vote on the president’s deal next month will presumably be devoid of political considerations. Significantly, the three people likeliest to succeed her in the Senate, Reps. Donna Edwards (D) and Chris Van Hollen (D), who have been campaigning for the seat for five months, and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D), who is inching closer to a bid, all support the pact. Cardin recently became the ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee following a scandal surrounding the previous top Democrat, New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez – meaning he could be... Continue reading
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Donald C. Fry: Despite Reports of a Slide, Baltimore Convention Business Alive -- and Really Kicking

Cvent, an online event booking company, recently issued a report that seemed, on first glance, to suggest that Baltimore’s post-civil unrest image may be having quite a toll on the city’s convention business. The report stated that Baltimore had slid to No. 28, from 26, on its list of the top 50 convention destinations. As such reports go they can be easy pickings for reporters who must continuously feed the online news beast each day. And so, as one might expect, a story appeared in the local press with an unfortunate headline:  “Baltimore slides again on list of top convention destinations.” Now, Baltimore may have slid in the number of conventions booked via Cvent’s registration portal. But there are many portals in which convention bookings are handled and so the Cvent report doesn’t paint a complete or accurate picture of the state of the convention business in Baltimore.  Truth be told,... Continue reading
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Laslo Boyd: A red card for Ken Holt

Last week at MACO, Secretary Ken Holt committed a major foul. Amazingly, Holt is still Secretary of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.   Considering his world-class screw up last week, you actually have to wonder how he got the job in the first place. What happened is clear and undisputed.  Holt, in prepared remarks to a panel at the Maryland Association of Counties’ annual meeting, asserted that a mother could just put a lead fishing weight in her child’s mouth, then take the child in for testing and make a landlord liable for providing the child with housing until the age of 18.  The Housing Secretary used that hypothetical as part of his case for the need to reduce state regulations, including lessening the liability for landlords in lead paint cases. However you look at his statement, it’s a stunning combination of irresponsibility, incompetence and stupidity.  How could a... Continue reading
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